Light Reading
M&A and partnerships related to SDN, SPIT, security, OTT, and LTE make up this year's hotly contested best deal-maker category.

Leading Lights Finalists 2014: Best Deal Maker

Sarah Reedy
5/30/2014
50%
50%

One side-effect of the rapid shift to new technologies such as SDN and NFV is the large vendors' need to acquire companies and form partnerships to ramp up their offerings quickly. It also means they have many innovative startups to choose from.

That's one big reason we had an abundance of qualified entries in the category of Best Deal Maker for the past year. This award goes to the company that has consistently demonstrated good timing, judgment, and execution in high-profile acquisitions, partnerships, joint ventures, and other multi-company financial arrangements. (See Leading Lights 2014: The Finalists.)

Our six finalists span a number of important tech trends including SDN, SPIT, over-the-top, LTE, and security. Check them out in alphabetical order below.

Amdocs Ltd. -- for the acquisitions of Actix and Celcite
In the past year, Amdocs Ltd. (NYSE: DOX) has made two acquisitions that have taken the service provider IT (SPIT) player from the back office to deep inside the radio network. It purchased mobile network optimization specialist Actix for $120 million in September 2013 and self-optimizing network (SON) vendor Celcite Management Solutions LLC for $129 million in November 2013.

The acquisitions allowed Amdocs to create a new business unit, Amdocs Network Solutions, and tackle the increasingly important big data market. It's a relatively new player here, and still has to prove itself, but the assets gained from Actix and Celcite strengthen its marketing message by giving it the ability to offer granular network data analysis to operators.

SON will also become an increasingly important technology for operators managing complex heterogeneous networks and needing to do so in ways that are responsive and automated. Amdocs' network optimization story is strengthened by its back-to-back buys, which it says are aimed at turning it into the "leading vendor-agnostic network optimization provider."

Cisco Systems Inc. -- for the acquisition of Sourcefire
Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) went from having very little story in mobile network security to making money and stealing market share from security incumbents via its $2.7 billion acquisition of intelligent cyber-security provider Sourcefire, completed in October of last year. (The company also acquired Cognitive Security in February 2013 and ThreatGrid in May 2014, but both were outside timeline for this year's awards.)

Security is an extremely important topic for network operators, made even more crucial as they branch into machine-to-machine communications, the cloud, and new networks. Through its Sourcefire acquisition, Cisco provides an advanced "threat-centric security model" that includes threat detection, enforcement, and remediation technologies for operators. Instead of focusing on policy and controls, Cisco claims to work hard to understand the attackers and their methods to stop them before an attack and quickly respond when one does happen.

Genband Inc. -- for the acquisitions of fring and uReach Technologies
Private equity-owned Genband Inc. is no stranger to M&A, but in the past year it has focused its efforts on helping its operator customers respond to the OTT threat. The networking company acquired OTT voice service fring in September and followed up with the acquisition of uReach Technologies in February of this year.

Genband snatched up fring to give wireless operators a white-label response to OTT or cable and fixed service providers an entry into mobile communications. It provides video chat, VoIP calls, and group chat, and Genband has already integrated with its SpiDR WebRTC gateway. Within weeks of announcing the deal, the vendor also named its first customer, France's Bouygues Telecom , which is using the service to offer free phone calls and SMS over WiFi for its customers who are traveling abroad.

With uReach, Genband is aiming to update the operators stuck in legacy non-IP voicemail solutions with visual voicemail, virtual assistants, and unified communications. Combined with fring, it's all part of Genband's strategy to be a software-driven proponent of real-time communications whether on the cloud, in mobile, or OTT. And, these are likely not the last of the acquisitions we'll see from Genband this year as it continues to build out that story.

(10)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Page 1 / 2 Next >
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/2/2014 | 10:46:07 AM
Re: Anyone else?
Yes, job requirements can be tedious. Free range is the better option, although we all know that no range is truly free.
futurephil
50%
50%
futurephil,
User Rank: Moderator
6/2/2014 | 10:41:33 AM
Re: Anyone else?
Or, I'm finding it easier to concentrate without a message board quota to worry about. 
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/2/2014 | 10:39:20 AM
Re: Anyone else?
Looks like somebody misses being editor.
futurephil
50%
50%
futurephil,
User Rank: Moderator
6/1/2014 | 10:44:12 PM
Re: Anyone else?
Was Liberty Global/Virgin Media deal too early in 2013 to be considered?

Also, Facebook/WhatsApp is much more of an influential deal than, say, Genband/fring.

Google/Stackdriver was very interesting, too. It was one of 14 companies purchased this year.

Don't sleep on Microsoft, either. They've bought seven companies in the last 12 months and spent more than $7B to get Nokia's mobile device business.  Other buys gave them assets in API management, mobile computing and cloud computing. 
SReedy
50%
50%
SReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
6/1/2014 | 11:39:48 AM
Re: Anyone else?
Neither have gone through yet, so they'd be 2015 candidates but definitely worthwhile ones if they do close.
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/1/2014 | 4:56:36 AM
Re: Anyone else?
No love for the DirecTV acquisition by AT&T, I see.

But then again, AT&T already has U-verse.

The more glaring omission, though, is the Comcast-Time Warner deal, if it goes through.
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/1/2014 | 4:53:04 AM
Juniper settlement?
I don't know if this counts, but how about a nod toward Juniper for -- as part of its highly favorable settlement with Palo Alto Networks over their myriad patent litigation -- getting $100M in Palo Alto Networks stock (not to mention $75M cash)?
SReedy
50%
50%
SReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
5/30/2014 | 11:55:36 AM
Re: Anyone else?
Yes, that's a huge one. Same with SnapChat for its acquisition of AddLive.
nasimson
50%
50%
nasimson,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/30/2014 | 11:54:05 AM
Re: Anyone else?
@Sarah: What about the deal between facebook & whats app? Its a major deal that will combine mobile peer to peer messaging with social networking like never before.
SReedy
50%
50%
SReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
5/30/2014 | 10:40:14 AM
Anyone else?
What other big deal makers do you think should be on this list? Unfortunately, Softbank did not apply..
More Blogs from Light Reedy
Wireless operators are jumping on the mobile music bandwagon, a move that sounds good for many reasons.
The worlds of tennis, fashion and wearables collide as Ralph Lauren and OMsignal turn a polo into a sensor to track your every movement.
The fine print on Sprint's new $60 plan suggests it can prioritize other plans' traffic first – a letdown, and maybe even a net neutrality violation.
Verizon is reportedly working with an industry consortium to launch its own app store, but past efforts suggest it's not a smart move for the operator.
Join us Thursday at 12:00 p.m. EST for a live chat with Heavy Reading's Roz Roseboro about how NFV is changing data center requirements and operations.
Flash Poll
Wagner’s Ring
Data Centers Drive Telcos Into the Future

8|28|14   |   2:20   |   (2) comments


Data centers are at the heart of key trends driving telecom -- network virtualization, the drive for increased agility, and the need to compete with OTT providers.
LRTV Custom TV
Why SPs Should Consider Cisco's EPN

8|27|14   |   5:40   |   (0) comments


Sultan Dawood from Cisco discusses Cisco's EPN, which enables SPs to build agile and programmable networks delivering new network virtualized services using Cisco's Evolved Services Platform (ESP).
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Showcase @ Big Telecom Event 2014

8|26|14   |   2.56   |   (0) comments


SoftCOM is Huawei's framework for telecom business and network transformation. Haofei Liu, Solution Marketing Manager, Carrier Business Group, Huawei, showcases Huawei's SoftCOM architecture in this video.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei @ BTE 2014: Director of Integrated Solutions on SoftCOM & NFV Monetization

8|26|14   |   4.43   |   (0) comments


Libin Dai, Director of Integrated Solutions, Carrier Business Group, discusses Huawei's SoftCOM and NFV monetization. Huawei believes that NFV monetization should be service-driven rather than network-driven, and that operators should have network transformation, service transformation and a compatible and collaborative ecosystem in place in order to deploy NFV.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei @ BTE 2014: Director of US NFV Lab on CloudEdge & the Future of NFV

8|26|14   |   4.06   |   (0) comments


Sean Chen, Director of US NFV Lab at Huawei, discusses Huawei's new approach to NFV in open collaboration. Huawei believes that through Proof of Concept tests, it could help operators learn and communicate with the industry more effectively. Sean believes that successful implementation of NFV should have its values reaching to end users and discusses how Huawei's ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Highlights @ Big Telecom Event 2014

8|26|14   |   3.34   |   (0) comments


At the Big Telecom Event in Chicago Huawei showcases its high-level strategy, the SoftCOM architecture, which helps operators reduce the cost of ownership of their network infrastructure and generate additional revenue in the ICT service environment. Huawei showcases over 30 pilot programs from across the globe, focusing on the industry-leading commercial ...
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX – Live from the Show

8|21|14   |   5:58   |   (0) comments


An overview of VeEX Test and Measurement solutions including TX300S multi-service test set with VeExpress cloud-based management system, UX400 universal modular platform supporting 100G testing, and the redesigned RXT modular platform.
LRTV Custom TV
Transitioning CE 2.0 Networks Into the SDN & NFV Era With Telco Systems

8|19|14   |   5:19   |   (0) comments


Telco Systems' Ariel Efrati (CEO) and Moshe Shimon (VP of Product Management) discuss virtualization and how the company's new Open Metro Edge solution utilizes the SDN and NFV concepts to accelerate and orchestrate service delivery through its innovative product portfolio and software applications.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Myths: Is NFV Still Several Years Away?

8|11|14   |   1:13   |   (0) comments


Some say that NFV (network functions virtualization) is still several years away from being implemented on mobile operator networks. This isn't the case. Operators can get started on their paths to NFV now, as this short video from Skyfire shows.
LRTV Custom TV
A New Security Paradigm in SDN/NFV

7|28|14   |   02:54   |   (0) comments


Paul Shaneck, Global Director Network Solutions for Symantec, discusses the evolving virtualized network, explaining how Symantec is leading the security discussion as it relates to SDN and NFV, and helping to ensure the network is protected and compliant.
LRTV Documentaries
Sprint's Network Evolution

7|24|14   |   14:59   |   (0) comments


Sprint's Jay Bluhm gives a keynote speech at the Big Telecom Event (BTE) about Sprint's network and services evolution strategy, including Spark.
LRTV Documentaries
BTE Keynote: The Software-Defined Operator

7|24|14   |   18:43   |   (1) comment


Deutsche Telekom's Axel Clauberg explains the concept of the software-defined operator to the Big Telecom Event (BTE) crowd.
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 23, 2014, Denver, CO
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
A survey conducted by Vasona Networks suggests that 72% of mobile users expect good performance all the time, and they'll blame the network operator when it's not up to par.
Today's Cartoon
Hot Topics
Rogers, Shaw Take Aim at Netflix
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 8/26/2014
Utilities to Pump $11.2B Into Smart Grid – Study
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, 8/26/2014
Verizon Launches QR Code Security Solution
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/26/2014
Nokia's Maps Land on Samsung Devices
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 8/29/2014
Verizon to Launch HD VoLTE in 'Coming Weeks'
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 8/26/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed